Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials Seminars 6 hours (weeks 2-8 incl. = 1 hour each)
Other Student presentation 4 hours (weeks 9 and 10)
Workload Breakdown Lecture and seminar attendance = 20 hours; Lecture and seminar preparation (research and reading) = 100 hours; Essay research and writing = 40 hours; Independent film viewing = 40 hours
Lecture Lectures 10 hours (week 1 = 2 hours; week 2 = 2 hours; week 3 = 1 hour; week 4 = 1 hour; week 5 = 1 hour; week 6 = 1 hour; week 7 = 1 hour; week 8 = 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000-word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000-word essay  40%
Semester Assessment Student presentations  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit or resit failed elements and/or make good any missing elements  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. participate in social debates concerning the study of Cinema in Spanish America
2. show understanding of the historical background of the region
3. show understanding of the changing trends in Spanish American cinema from the 1950s to 2000
4. demonstrate skills in comparative analysis and to show familiarity with cinematic and technical vocabulary
5. engage critically with a variety of scholarly material including monographs and specialised articles
6. present their findings in a logical, organised and scholarly fashion both orally - through debates and presentations - and in written form - through essays.


This course aims to familiarise students with questions of Spanish American culture and its representation within film from the 1950s to 2001. It will give students a broad understanding of the most important aspects of Spanish American Cinema in its historical, socio-economic and political context. It will explore the themes of social criticism, gender and sexuality and national identity as seen through the medium of film. It will also give students a basic understanding of film analysis.

Brief description

The course studies Mexican, Cuban, Chilean and Argentinean cinema covering a period from 1952-2001. Thematically, it will cover aspects such as national identity, gender and sexuality and social critique in 6 films of this period.


This module is structured around the following topics:
1. Social Criticism
Social criticism has played an important role in Spanish American cinema since the early 1950s. Two films will be discussed in this context:
El chacal de Nauhueltoro (Miguel Littin, Chile, 1969) and Los olvidados (Luis Bunuel, Mexico, 1952).
2. Gender and sexuality
The two films to be discussed in this section are: Yo, la peor de todos (Maria Luisa Bemberg, Argentina, 1990) and De cierta manera (Sara Gomez, 1974, Cuba).
3. National identity
The two films in this section are: Y tu mama tambien (Alfonso Cuaron, Mexico, 2001) and Lista de espera (Juan Carlos Tabio, Cuba, 2000).

Weekly Classes
Week 1 - Historical and Contextual Overview of Cinema of Spanish America (lecture)
Week 2 - Reading Films. Lecture on the formal structures of film spectatorship
Week 3 - Session 1 - Lecture on the film El chacal de Nahueltoro; Session 2 - Class discussion/seminar on aspects of the film
Week 4 - Session 1 - Lecture on film Los olvidados; Session 2 - Class discussion/seminar on aspects of the film
Week 5 - Session 1 - Lecture on film Yo, la peor de todos; Session 2 - Class discussion/seminar on aspects of the film
Week 6 - Session 1 - Lecture on film De cierta manera; Session 2 - Class discussion/seminar on aspects of the film
Week 7 - Session 1 - Lecture on film Y tu mama tambien; Session 2 - Class discussion/seminar on aspects of the film
Week 8 - Session 1 - Lecture on film Lista de espera; Session 2 - Class discussion/seminar on aspects of the film
Week 9 - Class presentations
Week 10 - Class presentations/Revision

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Students will develop oral communication in seminars and student presentations; written communication will be developed in assessments in English.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to assess their own progress week by week through their increased understanding of the issues raised and the skills developed.
Information Technology Students will use on-line journals and source collections; delivery of course materials and information via e-learning system.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will acquire transferable skills such as the ability to create and deliver presentations; in-depth acquaintance with cinema as an academic subject.
Problem solving Students will select appropriate reading material; developing evaluative analysis and critical skills and formulating a detailed argument.
Research skills Students will analyse cinematic representations in their political/historical contexts and synthesize information in an evaluative argument.
Subject Specific Skills Students will acquire Modern Spanish vocabulary; slang expressions; a variety of Spanish language from different countries in the region.
Team work Students will participate in debates and group presentations in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 5